It was an afternoon to forget in Shropshire for a depleted Lions side as AFC Telford United took full advantage and cruised to a 4-1 victory.
Marcus Bignot and Russ O’Neill were without the services of Aaron Martin, Jamie Spencer, Kennedy Digie and Lee Shaw who sat out that match through suspension or injury. They did however have Scott Smith back from his loan at Matlock, Aram Soleman recovered from his ankle injury and Brad Nicholson returned to the starting line-up after his one game suspension.
In a pretty even first half Marcus Dewhurst was the busiest of the keepers making several good stops to keep his side in the contest, the standout save coming from Darryl Knights’ effort after a clearance from Nicholson cannoned off of the striker and looked to be heading for the top corner before the England U19 keeper made the stop.
Before this Scott Garner had a free header on the nine minute mark but the captain couldn’t make the most of it and his effort went wide.
Dewhurst then saved well with his feet to stop Aaron Williams’ effort but he was helpless for the opening goal, Theo Streete’s cross found Williams at the back post and he tapped the ball into the empty net.
Aram Soleman had a good opportunity to level the scores just before half-time but his effort went over the bar just minutes after Reiss McNally was forced to leave the field early with an injury.
Smith came on in his place and played the rest of the game at right back.
The second half presented another opportunity for the visitors to get back in the game but it got off to the worst possible start when Williams got his second from the spot, Hamza Bencherif was harshly adjudged to have handled the ball blocking Knights’ shot, the striker’s spot kick was just out of reach of Dewhurst who dived the right way.
Fifteen minutes later though Bencherif finished off Nicholson’s free kick by heading into the empty net after Matt Yates failed to collect the set-piece.
As soon as they were back in the contest though it was as good as over, Garner’s mis-placed pass was taken full advantage of by Matt Stenson who curled past Dewhurst into the far corner, just a minute after Bencherif’s header.
Six minutes later it was game over as Telford’s quick free kick found Williams who quickly struck past Dewhurst for his hat-trick and the final goal of the afternoon.
The Lions move on to Saturday’s visit of Darlington to Nethermoor with kick-off at 3pm.
Team: 1. Marcus Dewhurst, 2. Reiss McNally (37′ Smith), 3. Brad Nicholson, 4. George Cantrill, 5. Hamza Bencherif (⚽64′), 6. Scott Garner, 7. Kaine Felix, 8. Dylan Barkers, 9. Gabriel Johnson, 10. Andrai Jones and 11. Aram Soleman (71′ Starcenko). Subs: 12. Nathan Newall, 14. Aleks Starcenko (71′ Soleman), 15. Scott Smith (37′ McNally), 16. Paul Clayton and 17. Will Thornton.